Payment Plans

Flexible Patient Payment Plans: Driven by Ability to Pay

Propensity to Pay may not be the first thing to roll off your lips when you think about creating healthcare patient payment plans. But it should be.

Propensity to pay—or ability to pay—is the use of behavioral analytics, combined with your medical group’s internal payment rules, to create smart payment plans that patients are more likely to comply with.

Some keys to consider when implementing Ability to Pay solutions:

  • Start early.
    Don’t wait for the clinical encounter to score a patient’s account. By knowing the account score prior to their visit, you can collect an appropriate amount at the time of service.

  • Have a plan for how to handle Ability to Pay tiers.
    One you have identified account score tiers—decide how you want to handle those with clear rules. This will allow you to align staffing resources and procedures to each level—with the proper workflows to support each.

  • Access historical payment data.
    Ensure your Ability to Pay solution can access historical claims data. This will improve the quality of the score dramatically.

  • Know your baseline metrics.
    In order to determine the effectiveness of your Ability to Pay solution, make sure you know your baseline self-pay KPIs. Everything from DSO (or average days to collect), write-offs for bad debt and charity, current POS collections, etc.

Implementing a Propensity to Pay/Ability to Pay solution can be an effective method of improving your patient collections when done thoughtfully, and as part of a larger patient-friendly payment program. To learn more about Propensity to Pay, check out PatientPay's RCM solutions.

Prompt patients to use HSA and FSA funds

With the continued rise in high deductible health plans, it’s no surprise that more than 21.8 million Americans were covered by Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) in 2017. Americans opting-in to HSA use has been growing dramatically since their introduction in 2004. And FSAs also remain popular for those without a high deductible plan.

For medical groups—this tax-exempt money set aside every month by employees and employers can have real (and positive) implications on collections. Sometimes you just have to ask.

Your billing staff should routinely ask patients if they have a health savings account (or medical savings account). Reminding patients about those already-dedicated healthcare dollars—and the easy-to-use credit card that comes with them—can immediately boost point-of-care payments.

And what about payment plans? Those bills can be paid with HSS/FSA funds too—and once you have collected the card-on-file, there is no intervention from staff or patient needed!

Make sure your office staff routinely asks patients if they have these tax-free accounts, as a simple step to helping increase your collections.